The best restaurants in San Jose

Pizza, rice rolls and sizzling platters of filet mignon: San Jose’s food scene is one of the best in the Bay Area. Here’s where to eat

The culinary scene in San Jose has an undeniable gravitational pull, attracting boba apostles, pho followers and injera lovers alike to this jewel of the South Bay. This city of more than a million residents also boasts a plethora of ethnic enclaves, like Japantown and the Hispanic Washington-Guadalupe neighborhood. Many of them offer the city’s immigrant communities essential tastes of home, from Somali suqaar to regional Vietnamese delicacies.

When I began this job a few years ago, I was overwhelmed by the sheer possibilities presented by the city. Where would I even start? But I realized that some of the best days in San Jose began in the city’s mall food courts and strip malls, where I could hop from one fascinating restaurant to the next to sample each establishment’s best dishes. My days in San Jose were kaleidoscopes of flavor, and I already can’t wait to go back to add more to this guide.

For more recommendations, see my picks for Vietnamese food across the Bay Area, as well as other Peninsula and South Bay favorites.